Halloween Candy Book Tag

I love Halloween and I was looking for a tag that reflected by favorite piece of it: the candy! I found this one which I really enjoyed created by Book Adventures with Katie on Youtube. Personally my favorite is anything involving nougat, which doesn’t have a question on this tag but I felt it covered all the classics. What is your favorite Halloween candy?

Reese’s Cup: Classic YA book everyone loves

I feel like for this I am going to have to go with the Hunger Games. I reread these over the past year and it really holds up. From what I have seen it looks like it is going to continue to be a classic for a long time.

Sour Patch Kids: Grew on you over time

Mind of My Mind by Octavia E. Butler. I think that this book in general has very unsettling themes but it took me a while to get into. By the end, I was totally committed to the book.

Bubble Gum: Great at first but “lost its flavor” over time

For this I am going the the Throne of Glass series. The flavorful moments that were satisfying but were too few and far between as the series went on and unfortunately I lost my taste for it.

Candy Corn: Polarizing read

I genuinely do love candy corn and someone how ended up with the only other person my age I know who also likes it. However for this one I am going with a book that made me feel polarized by not liking it. That was The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. So many people love this author and I love the idea of dark academia but I did not like and I have found this tends to be a totally love or totally hate.

Laffy Taffy: Made you laugh

I should read more joyful books, I don’t really remember the last time a book made me laugh. The only thing that comes to mind recently is some of the short stories from Once Upon an Eid, an anthology edited by S.K. Ali and Aisha Saeed. In general the stories were beautiful and joyous but the special holiday chaos of “Yusuf and The Great Big Brownie Mistake” and “Eid and Pink Bubble Gum, Insha’ Allah”.

Sucker: Cliché but sucked you in

I’m not going to explain myself but the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, or at least the original trilogy.

Fun-size: Short and sweet

Again, I need to read more positive books because I had to reach back to some of the classics. Coming in at 110 pages (or at least the version I have) I am hitting this off with The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. I know that not everyone would consider it “sweet” but I think it is heartwarming and you leave the book with a positive feeling.

King-size: Gave you more than you thought you needed

Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi was one of my most surprising reads of the year in a really good way. I was expecting a darker coming of age story but I was really impressed by the complexity, the relationships: romantically, with family, and with herself.

York Peppermint Pattie: Refreshing read

I like to use graphic novels to refresh the brain. Lately I have been moving through the Orange volumes by Ichigo Takano and The 5 Worlds series by Mark and Alexis Siegel.

Krackel/Mr. Goodbar: Underrated read

I never know exactly what this is asking so I have prepared an answer for each option. A book I think people rated under its value is White Ivy by Susie Yang. An incredible contemporary thriller surrounding privilege. A book that I think not enough people have rated (read) is Each of Us a Desert.

Twix: Told from dual perspectives

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal is a of the hyped-variety but a great dual perspectives. It absolutely deserves the hype it gets and the perspectives genuinely feel different and give you new insight to the story.

Twizzlers: A book you want to be made into a movie/show

My cheating answer is the Witchlands series by Susan Dennard, but that is already being developed for TV, so hooray! My non-cheating answer is The Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow. It is such an engaging and timely story. The world has already been expanded in The Chorus Rises and I would love to be able to continue to explore it on a show.

September Wrap Up

September was a pretty slow reading month for me. I had a lot going on at work as well as personally, following my move to a new apartment and a death in the family. However I did read 5 books, most of which I enjoyed (3 – 5 Star; 1 – 4 Star; 1 – 3 Star). Let me know if you’ve read any of these. I’m just sorting these by date finished.

Why I Am No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Renni Edo Lodge (Non-fiction) – 5 Stars: I really enjoyed this book. It was passionate and the book was broken down by arguments people make to deny systematic racism.

The Pride of Chanur by C.J Cherryh (Science Fiction)3 stars: I feel incredibly neutral about this book which is bizarre for me. I probably wouldn’t have finished if not for book club. There is a crew of all-female cat-like people who take aboard a stranger. You may like if you are into very classic sci-fi.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander (Non-fiction) – 4 stars: This is an incredibly important issue and should be required reading for most Americans. The reason it is 4 stars is that I personally had a harder time following the timelines.

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan (Magical Realism/Young Adult) – 5 Stars: After Leigh’s mother commits suicide Leigh knows nothing for certain except that her mother has turned into a bird. This is a highly emotional story but beautiful in the end.

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi (Fantasy/Middle Grade) – 5 Stars: Alice Queensmeadow feels alone. This is a beautiful and whimsical story that also creeped me out more than I expected. Slight Alice in Wonderland retelling with actual magic and friendship.

Mid-year Goal Check-in

So it is about midyear which means the year is about half way over. This to me is just bizarre but maybe it’s because I wasn’t working and mostly just home for 3 months before I was employed. I thought I would check in with the goals I made through out the year and see what I have accomplished, what is still feasible, and what to adjust.

Life Goals:

  • I went to my friends wedding which you can learn about here.
  • Have not gotten a credit card yet but it is harder than I expected to choose a bank
  • Cooking is going well but it is hard to practice as much as I want cause my partner is such a good cook and makes a lot of our dinners.
    • For the second half of the year I’m going to focus on cooking more often and learning a new recipe once a month, not twice.

Career Goals:

  • GOT A JOB! Just had my three month review and feel confident in the job for a while.
  • I have had 2 public speaking engagements and hope to have more this year
  • I attended no networking events… I am very afraid to meet new people and make these new connections event though I should

Health Goals:

  • I have stuck very well to not buying pre-made desserts though sometimes my partner buys me a treat which is nice. Still trying to stick to this goal, but need to purchase more baking gear.
  • One meatless meal a week has proven to be much less of a problem than I had anticipated.
  • I really sucked at my water goal but two weeks ago I bought a waterbottle (honestly this was shocking)
    • The new goal is to finish one everyday (32 oz.)

Writing Goals:

  • So I have been doing a lot of work writing but my person writing has definitely fallen by the wayside.
    • Goal for the rest of the year is to edit two short stories and finish a rough draft of my novel that I have been planning for years
  • Blogging has not been going as well as I wanted (most of the time I don’t hit three). I didn’t do a review for May’s book club as it was ender’s game and I didn’t have anything new to say. My goal is to re-up in the new year.

Reading Goals:

  • I have read 67 books so far this year.
    • One DNF
    • My favorites so far this year:
      • Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
      • The Forgotten Sisters by Shannon Hale
      • The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
  • I was really well on my way to reducing unread book I owned by then of course I bought more.
  • I have only read two 2019 releases but I am intending to read more in the back half of the year. They are more accessible in the library.
  • I finished 4 (ish!) series but to be fair two were duologies. I am going to attempt now to finish 9 series.

Wish me luck in the back half of the year meeting all my goals!

2019 Resolutions

As always resolutions are hard to keep. Here are some of the goals that I am working towards this year. Some I am trying (and occasionally failing) every day, week, month and not just one overall theme for the year.

Reading Goals:

  • Read 100 books in the calendar year
    • My goal is to read more historical fiction but even reading 5 would be more for me
  • Reduce the books I own that I haven’t read by half (either read or get rid of)
  • Read 10 books that come out this year. Thank you new library system!
  • Complete 6 book series

Writing Goals:

  • Write 20 minutes a day
  • More public writing, either sharing this blog more or entering writing competitions
  • Minimum three blog posts a month
    • One of these will be a book review for the my family book club

Health Goals:

  • 5 glasses of water or tea everyday
  • One meatless day a week (you don’t know me like that but for me this is a huge deal)
  • No buys pre-desserts from the grocery store except special occasions ie holidays, anniversaries, etc.

Career Goals:

  • Get a job!
  • Start attending networking events in my new location
  • One public speaking event/engagement

Life Goals:

  • Build credit score
  • Visit three new places
  • Support my best friend at her wedding this spring
  • Learn two new recipes a month

Reading Away From Home

So I love to read. I don’t really know about anyone else but for me a good book always feels like home. Unfortunately, when I’m at college or living far away from my parents house I cannot take my whole library with me. Finding a way to read someplace new is really important to me.

Libraries- aka one of my favorite places on the planet. Every city and most towns have at least one. They are great places to do work or hang out. Also they have really cool books, music, and movies. It is really easy to get a library card anywhere, you just need a residence or permanent address or if you are me just look really sad until they give you one.

OpenLibrary- This is the easiest app to use. It only requires the downloading of one application on to any device, also a library card to a home library. However, it is used by less home libraries so there is a chance you can not access books through this. It super user friendly and has most best sellers and some really top rated books that anyone would want to read.

OverDrive- This is probably the most commonly used by home libraries. However, this means that a lot of books are already checked out. It also is a little more strict about returning deadlines. It does have a larger variety of books and often has audiobooks as well, some even have video files. The one draw back to this application is that it requires additional apps to actually use and view the content.

I am sure there are other options but I hope this helps others keep their nose in a book.